Archive for the ‘Chiricahua’ Tag

Cochise Stronghold In The Dragoon Mountains   1 comment

Cochise StrongholdCochise Stronghold In The Dragoon Mountains — Panorama by kenne

This rugged natural fortress was, for some 15 years, the home and base of operations for the famed Chiricahua Apache Chief, Cochise.  Cochise and about 1,000 of his followers, of whom some 250 were warriors, located here.

Born in present-day Arizona, Cochise led the Chiricahua band of the Apache tribe during a period of violent social upheaval. In 1850, the United States took control over the territory that today comprises Arizona and New Mexico.  Not hostile to the whites at first, he kept peace with the Anglo-Americans until 1861, when he became their implacable foe because of the blunder of a young U.S. Army officer, Lt. George Bascom.   In that year, Cochise and several of his relatives had gone to an encampment of soldiers in order to deny the accusation that they had abducted a child from a ranch. The boy was later proved to have been kidnapped by another band of Apaches.

During the parley, Cochise and his followers were ordered held as hostages by Bascom, but Cochise managed to escape almost immediately by cutting a hole in a tent. Bascom later ordered the other Apache hostages hanged, and the embittered Cochise joined forces with Mangas Coloradas, his father-in-law, in a guerrilla struggle against the American army and settlers. The capture and murder of Mangas Coloradas in 1863 left Cochise as the Apache war chief.   The U.S. Army captured him in 1871 and prepared to transfer the Chiricahua to a reservation hundreds of miles away, but he escaped again and renewed the resistance campaign. The following year after negotiating a new treaty with the help of Thomas Jeffords, the band was allowed to stay in their homeland.

— Source: Coronado National Forest

Cochise Stronghold In Southeast Arizona   6 comments

Cochise Stronghold

Cochise Stronghold

Cochise Stronghold

Cochise StrongholdPanoramic Views of the Cochise Stronghold Area — Images by kenne

In 1968, my last post in the Army was  Fort Huachuca, in southeast Arizona. It was my first taste of southern Arizona and I loved it. 

In the short time we were here, we tried to take in as much of Arizona as possible, because my future was going back to college and who knows what after that.

One of the places I remember going to was Cochise Stronghold at the base of the Dragoon Mountains. This is high-desert area (about 5,000 feet) and generally very dry. The picture I still had in my mind was driving a “primitive” road  entering into a tree covered area near a creek. It was beautiful, but not much there to attract only the hardiest of hikes and campers. Still, it’s beauty was enough to maintain a “mind’s-eye” image all these years.

Now three years living on southern Arizona and this past Friday was my first opportunity to drive the seventy-plus miles from Tucson, and as is sometimes the case, my mind’s-eye had not falsely embellished the image — it’s still a beautiful place to visit and spend some time. Now the area has well-developed and maintained campgrounds with nature and interpretive trails and several hiking trails. The main trail was originally an Indian trail and is about 4 miles long one way.

There are also several displays with historical information. For fifteen years this rugged natural fortress area was home  for the famed Chiricahua Apache Chief, Cochise and about 1,000 of his followers. It also serve as an effective base of operations  for some 250 were warriors located here.  The towering pinnacles of rock were perfect lookouts for spotting enemies in the valley below.

Much more information can be obtained at

Click here to see a slideshow at my Flickr site.


Cochise StrongholdA lot of the boulders are covered with lichens. — Image by kenne

Dark Powder On The Trail   2 comments

Dark Powder On The Trail

Born of a volcanic eruption,

covered with ash and pumice,

fused into spires and rock formations

at the crossroads of the

Chihuahuan and Sonora deserts.

Bonita Canyon, refuge to the Apaches,

later to become the Faraway Ranch,

managed by a blind woman,

Lillian was her name,

in a wonderland of rocks.

The land of standing rocks,

A backdrop to a biological paradise

through modern history —

returned to ashes by Horseshoe 2 fire

leaving dark powder on the Bonita Trail.

Wildflowers, the first to return

adding color to the black and gray,

first symbolized by a flower

left by the fire’s inferno

to dodge the debris flows.

Time will heal the Chiricahua wounds

not by man’s clock of numbers,

but to Mother Nature’s cycles

linked to the brain in our hearts

creating a day out of time.


Images by kenne

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